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Erin Burnett Out Front

News/Business. Erin Burnett. (2013)




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U.s. 14, Algeria 8, Nra 7, United States 6, Libya 5, Us 5, Mali 5, France 5, Mike Rogers 4, Erin 4, New York 4, Usaa 3, Obama Administration 3, Mokhtar Belmokhtar 3, Intermezzo 2, Leon Panetta 2, Omar 2, Faa 2, Toyota 2, Harry Reid 2,
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  CNN    Erin Burnett Out Front    News/Business.  
   Erin Burnett.  (2013)  

    January 16, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

>> let's take a look at your headlines this morning. as we do, we'll talk about a cold start to the week. this is exactly what we're looking at here. eit-day planner. monday, today, 34 degrees today, looking at mostly sunny skies. >> you got the toyota sponsors there. >> valley toyota is our sponsor. >> i stand corrected. who needs computers when you can draw your own travel map. >> we'll take a look at your surface map. that's here. lots of high pressure across the area, light northeast winds. if you have travel plans today, the east coast including atlanta to d.c., even new york, a few delays possible. even heavier rain at times as well. >> i love how this guy did this. this went on for the entire morning show. he even made graphics for the changing photograph of his mood. >> this is how i felt this morning. this is how i felt when i
realized i could draw everything and when i realized we're getting the computers back, this is how i feel right now. >> i like the hair out front, militants are holding several americans hostage. the leader of an islamist group tells me it is because the west joins the war in mali. president obama proposes 23 executive actions to cut gun violence.
good evening. i'm erin brunette. americans held hostage. islamic militants claim on the desert. the best information that we have at this time is that u.s. citizens are among the hostages in order to protect their safety, i will not get into numbers or names. >> the number of american hostages has been fluid. an islamic military leader told us there were seven.
they tell us there could be as few as three americans still being held. here is what we know much the attack took place this morning at a bp gas field in southern algeria in response to france military offensive. the obama administration was quick to react. leon panetta called it a terrorist attack. a u.s. official told me as of now the attack appeared organized, not spontaneous. al qaeda linked groups are flourishing. we spoke to a leader in the islamic group. he is working with one of al qaeda's most senior leaders, mokhtar mel mokhtar.
>> the fate of these hostages, they are at risk, because things have to change. that's what he said. tonight, we cover the story from every angle. we will be speaking with mike rogers and ed royce. we begin with cnn pentagon correspondent, chris lawrence. obviously, this has been developing throughout the day. we have been struggling to chase this down and get the details. the u.s. government says it is taking the lead on the hostage situation. what is it doing to make sure the americans who are being held hostage are safe? >> erin, the first thing they did was to get some satellite surveillance over that area which means that the fbi can now monitor to some extent what is happening on the grown. the next thing the u.s. military did was upgrade the readiness sat tus of the so-called commander's in extremists force, the small lethal counter terrorism force that u.s. african command did not have
when that was attacked in benghazi libya. it was stood up and allows african command to have a ready to go special operations team dedicated to hostage rescue and counter terrorism. this team we're told was already on its way to senegal to be in place for any potential missions that might come up with mali. they have been diverted in an undisclosed location. they don't have any orders to go yet. a defense official says with the number of hostages and potential hostage-takers there, it would be an extremely dangerous assault miss. they are all hoping there is some sort of diplomatic solution to this crisis. >> certainly a shock to many how quick it happened. as i know, we all have been trying to understand and when these workers were seized on their way to work on what exactly was happening. what can can you tell us about the moment they were taken? given as we just reported, the u.s. government was quick to say they believed this was an organized and preplanned attack.
>> you are exactly right. here is what we know from algeria as interior minister. he says an oil field in southern algeria was attacked by militants. several hostages were taken there. this was about 40 miles from the border of libya. a group of westerners were on their way to the airport where they were attacked by another group of militants. algear january security forces with them fired back. the militants retreated back to this bp oil facility, sort of the main base. there, they took more hostages, both algerian and westerners. although the group has claimed responsibility, has said it did so out of retaliation for algeria. allowing the french to use its air space for those operations in mali. a u.s. officials who cnn has spoken to has said the level of planning indicates this was in the works even before the french
missions took place. it is likely that the group is using this sort of as a cover to protect it's level of planning. in other words, the french, you know, flights over algeria into mali, they are using that to say this was the impetus for the attack. this may have been in works for some time. >> a very important detail. thanks very much to chris lawrence with the latest from the pentagon. we spoke to a military leader in the group who said he is working with mokhtar belmokhtar who has claimed responsibility for the attack. we asked omar about the hostage situation in algeria. >> ansar dine is linked to all
qaeda. we spoke to other sources on the ground in mali who told me the islamist groups have at most 2000 fighters, 2000 people and a combat zone the size of texas. when you look at it that way, it is not very many people. when you say, how big of a threat they may be? when we asked omar, it was a question he didn't want to talk about, how many fighters they have. he refused to answer that before and he refused again today. we will play you what he had to say. it doesn't matter whether we have 2000 fighters or 10 fighters, we are going to be effective. this has moved from northern and west africa to great britain and the united states. today, he called the terrorist attack in algeria, the latest and growing demonstration of a radical movement across west africa. he supports the movement. he is out front tonight. thank you very much for taking the time. i appreciate it.
the islamist commander we spoke to whom you just heard there said, they demand a release of the war. this attack had been in the works before the french involvement in mali. former military involvement. the question is, should the united states be negotiating with these al qaeda linked groups? >> here is the difficulty. you have done some great reporting on this. as you know, for the last six years, this particular all qaeda affiliate has been taking westerners as hostages, many of them french. they are using this for bargaining power and collecting ransom and then they use the monetary ransom to build their organization. they are freshly supplied from some of the weapons they picked up in libya. so we have a situation frankly where i think we've got to hope that the french foreign legion
forces an other french forces engaged make very quick progress. i say that because once they get ensconced in mali, they could do real damage over the long-haul. that's why you don't want this to become a staging ground for the growth of this organization. >> one other thing i heard today, chairman, was speculation, british petroleum, b.p., obviously, is one of the employers at this point venture along with the company statoil. these workers cary on very high ransom. these companies have insurance and the ability to pay ransom if they need to. i want to put this very difficult question to you. should bp pay it if they think they can get these people out alive, these americans whose lives are at risk tonight even if that money is going to go to fund al qaeda, if the other option is some sort of u.s. military special operations raid that may or may not work in which lives could be lost?
>> here is the conundrum. the payment of those ransom dollars in the past have helped build this organization, this all qaeda affiliate. now, it has chapters in countries all over europe which intelligence sources are trying to close down. the best policy, probably for the long-haul is to eliminate with a raid, try to eliminate this cell group that's taken the hostages if we can do it successfully and the overall policy has to be succeed. you already see just how brutal on the local culture this organization has been. it has tried to change the culture, it is doing it with amputations, mass murder. at this point, the french engagement is to try to wipe out all qaeda and the maugrabee.
>> you would prefer a special forces raid as opposed to ransom? i know you said that. just to make it loud and clear. >> if our quick reaction force feels that that can be done successfully, that would be my preference, simply because ransom dollars are only compounding the problem. they are only giving resources to this organization to plan its next attack. each attack can be larger than the last. at this point, i think we have to go to the root of the problem. >> the militants, they say, did this because of french involvement in mali. our reporting indicates it was an organized and planned attacked and organized before the french intervened. they are using that as their excuse. the pentagon has confirmed the united states will be involved in the war in mali. they have said very clearly that
will not be via troops on the ground. i want to be honest with you. i have spoken to officials who are concerned about france's ability and capacity to execute this, to fulfill their mission of eradicating, the president of france's word terrorism and terrorists in mali. if france doesn't get it done, would you put boots on the ground? >> the french foreign legion, the battalions they have deployed are very, very good. the neighboring countries, also, like algeria, has an interest. nigeria has an interest. they don't want to see this cancer spread. so the u.s. position here is to provide the logistics and also to provide the intelligence in order to help get this job done. not to provide boots on the ground. that's not our role here. this is for the countries of north africa and west africa
along with working with the french government who has already had so many of its own citizens seized and ransomed over the years. with 6,000 citizens remaining in mali, they have decided to take a stand. we need to back them in that stand that they have taken. the chairman of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, is going to be our guest later in the hour to find out the latest on what we know about these americans being held hostage up front, the nra has taken on gun control with a controversial new ad involving sasha and mali aobama. many were moved by the touching story of a notre dame football player overcoming the death of his girlfriend. were we all duped?
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our second story, gun battle. president obama proposed 23 actions that would help reduce gun violence. among them, ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, background checks. that is no surprise. strengthening mental health reporting and regulation. in reaction to the president, nra said, i'll quote them, only honest, law-abiding gun owners
will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable. what is the nra strategy when it comes to this debate? here is tom foreman with an out front investigation on how the nra gets what it wants. >> are the president's kids more important than yours? >> in a hard-hitting response to calls to are new gun restriction, the nra has rolled out this ad attacking the white house saying the president is happy to have armed secret service agents protecting his children but for everyone else -- >> he is just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. >> reporter: it is the latest muscle flex by the gun group superpac which last year spent more than $16 million from its deep war chest to influence political races. that's not a tremendous amount for such efforts. big oil, the pharmacy industry, even retired people have more and better funded lobbyists.
the gun group uses its money and membership effectively often targeting early any lawmaker that threatens to go against gun rights. larry sab ba toe is at the university of virginia center for politics. >> the national polls can show an overwhelming group of people in favor but they may take it out on them if they vote in favor. >> dick lugar came under fire from conservatives who felt after 35 years in the senate, he was being too moderate. the nra joined the attack. >> dick lugar has changed. he has become the only republican candidate in indiana with an "f" rating from the nra. time for a change. >> lugar lost in a landslide. some political analysts believe the nra's power is waning as the
number of households with guns has declined. barack obama was still reelected and many nra-backed candidates did not win. but by all accounts, this he remain well-connected and a strong, shrewd political power currently they say are gaining members and stealing themselves to match anything the white house throws its way. tom foreman, cnn, washington the nra is not only a powerful force among republicans but it is also influential among democrats. one happens to be the top democrat in the senate, harry reid. john avlon is looking into the majority leader's ties with the nra. the man the president would be relying upon to get something significant in terms of gun laws. he does pretty well with the nra. >> here is the deal about harry reid and guns. he opposed the assault weapons ban not once but twice in 1994 and 2004.
he has a "b" rating from the nra. that's higher than ten other democrats. he has received money from the nra than any other senate member. >> a little love affair. he even appeared with wayne la pierre in 2010. but, he is a guy who says, you know, i'm gonna go with my party and go with the democratic party line. will he really oppose the president on gun issues? >> he is not going to oppose the president. he is going to try to quarterback ter what he can. he is going to do what he can to move the ball forward. everything is on the table. here is the real deal. part of the pragmatism is a look at the election. arkansas, louisiana, month tan
na, north carolina, south dakota. it will be interesting to see whether the tide has turned. some polls show on some of the options, 89% of republicans support them. maybe that stat will put some courage in some of the politicians. >> thanks very much to john avlon our third story out front. notre dame star linebacker says he is a victim of a bizarre hoax. he says he was conned by a woman into an internet relationship. that's the least bizarre part of this story. university held a late press conference tonight on the case. ted rollins is following the story. what more did university officials say to shed some light on what is a truly bizarre and disturbing story. >> this is such a shocking story to not only people in the sports world but because this story transcended the sports world. anyone that follows notre dame or who watched that championship game and heard about manti te'o
and the death of his grandmother and his 22-year-old girlfriend who supposedly died of leukemia. we now know there was no girlfriend. it was a complete hoax. she never existed. notre dame is 100% behind manti te'o. they say he had nothing to do with this. he is an absolute victim of this elaborate hoax. >> on the morning of december 26th, very early morning, manti called his coaches to inform them that while he was in attendance at the espn awards show in orlando, he received a phone call from a number he recognized as being that he associated with lennay kekua.
when he answered it, it was a person whose voice sounded like the same voice he had talked to who told him that she was, in fact, not dead. >> it is so shocking to people inside and outside sports. manti te'o ended up being second in the heisman trophy voting and part of that was because of what he endured during the season. the idea this senior lost his grandmother and his girlfriend, who now we know was fictitious on the exact same day and that he played a football game the day of her supposed funeral. he had two interceptions. it got a lot of media attention. at the end of the game on the day of this girl's supposed funeral, the coach of notre dame gave manti te'o the team ball but dedicated it to his dead girlfriend. take a listen.
>> i would like to have manti to have this ball to take back to hawaii for her. [ applause ] >> bottom line, erin, while the university is absolutely standing by manti te'o, a lot of other people have serious questions because of the amount of interviews he has dune about his girlfriend, the death of his girlfriend talking about how he met her at a football game at stanford where she was supposedly a student. well, she didn't exist. did he really meet her or did he ever spend time with her or was this just an online romance? if so, was he lying to the local paper when he set he met her at a football game a lot of questions remain for manti te'o. the bottom line tonight, notre dame is sticking by him. erin? still to come. new information about the americans being held hostage in algeria tonight. mike rogers comes out front
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welcome back to the second half of "out front." we start with stories we care about focusing on our reporting from the front line. the faa temporarily grounding the boeing 787 dreamliner. they have issued an emergency airworthiness directive to address a potential battery fire risk in the plane. this means that the faa needs to see to the dreamliner's lithium eye on batteries are safe and in
compliance before the plane is allowed to fly again. you have heard about the much publicized problems with japan's 787s. united airlines is the american company that operates the 787. they have six in service. this comes after all nippon was forced to make an emergency landing. they have halted all of their dreamliner flights in japan live strong is speaking out before lance armstrong's interview with oprah winfrey. >> we expect lance to be crisis expert, mike paul, tells us the livestrong foundation can do it. they have to focus themselves as a service-based charity not a celebrity-based one an update on a story from monday. police have gotten more information on a woman found hanging from a tree. they say she was not gang-raped.
the case was treated as a suicide. evidence found during the autopsy does not point to sexual assault. it has been 531 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. the debt ceiling is still causing ago any. according to the fed's latest snapshot, some businesses are saying, we're not going to hire. our fourth story out front. the american hostages in algeria. defense secretary, leon panetta, today, quick to call it a terrorist attack as he is traveling in europe. the interior minister says they are angry for the french offensive in mali. they attacked an oil field killing two and seizing a number of hostages. we have been working this story throughout the day. the exact number of u.s. hostages is unclear perhaps as few as three americans are being held. earlier in the day, we had heard
it would be as many as seven. it is unclear if the number is wrong or some were able to escape. what are the latest reports there on the hostage situation? >> reporter: as you said, erin, we are still hearing conflicting reports about the number of hostages still being held. we are seeking confirmation from the british prime minister's office as to whether one of those hostages they have claimed to have killed was, indeed, british. we are getting more clarity on who is behind this. both militants and the algerian minister says the man they want to negotiate is a man named mokhtar belmokhtar. the sense we are getting here, erin, is that this whole hostage situation really is a coalescing of all the concerns that led
france and the uk and the u.s. to support the malian government in their pushback of islamists, militants, moving across country. they were able to brazenly attack an algerian government convoy. now, we're hearing from the algerian minister. maybe they didn't start in mali. maybe they came from across the border in libya. >> obviously, still confusing at this point. thank you very much. republican congressman, mike rogers, of michigan, is the chairman of the house intelligence committee. weigh ace commissioned officer in the u.s. army and served as an fbi special agent. he is out front. good to see you again. >> good to see you. >> you said the kidnapping of westerners braisingly raises the stakes. have you been briefed on this situation? what can you tell us?
>> well, the number of hostages has been moving a little bit. it will take a little bit of time before we get exact clarity on the exact number but i will tell you what's happening is that i don't believe they came from mali either. i think the terrorists themselves, the kidnappers, have said they came from mali to pull this off. it shows you i think the volatility of the whole region. from tunisia to libya to algeria down into mali and other places, even into western and southern africa, you have seen weapons movement, people movement and a collection of different groups that have come together under the all qaeda banner. it is really, really dangerous. we knew they had looked at western targets before. this was something that probably had some seeds of planning prior to. they used this as an opportunity to engage in it to use it as a
p.r. tool of what you see is happening now. >> obviously, so much of what is going to make the united states decision of how to get involved here is how much these groups are coalescing. as nima reported, mokhtar belmokhtar is the one taken responsibility. he is in mali often. when we were along the border this summer, we were told he was in a town that was nearby. he is also now apparently from what we understand working with some other groups, including ansar dine. i spoke to the military commander about how many fighters we have and what their goals are. i wanted to play for you what he had to say and get your reaction.
>> listen the numbers of fighters doesn't mean much for us. it is 2000 or if it is 10 people only. it makes no difference. it's no longer only in north mali. how serious are these groups coming together and their intents from your understandings and the briefings you have received? >> well, very serious. we've been looking at northern africa for some time. i have been there. i sent some folks from my team there back in september. what we found before, remember, they have been making money through ransom for some time, even before joining al qaeda. they were the single largest
contributor for many years. they are certainly well-organized. i call them all different organized crime groups who have been doing this for years, they are all starting to come together. the movement of jahaad, ansahr dean. this is where jihadists will come because they think they are winning the fight. >> you wrote today, the administration needs to better understand the specific threats poised by aqim and other al qaeda affiliated groups. if we don't deal with them they will pose a threat. the obama administration to say this was a terrorist attack
immediately. are they doing a good job handling this one? >> it is too early to tell. this is a difficult one. i'm not going to say that. when you have a group like this that is clearly well-organized, i think it was pre-planned, that had this much success with this many hostages. this is as hard a problem as it gets on the ground to unwind. the outcomes of these are not always great. that said, what we don't have is an overarching policy. this is what many of us have been talking about. mali is the first victim of libya, because of the weapon cashes that were raided and the inability of anyone to stop those weapons and people. you had tu nearbyians coming down.
you have all of this converging together. it makes it a very, have he dangerous recipe. that's why you can't just handle mali or benghazi. you have to have an overarching plan that puts pressure on these groups. you can't just fire a few missiles and pack up and go home and hope for the best. it is not going to work. this is a can of worms. we are going to have to deal with it or it will become a safe haven. >> the can of worms is open. if we can't put the can back on. if the french can't, how much involvement are you willing to stomach? are you willing to say, if this spreads, we will put boots on the ground, something the obama administration or the pentagon or the american people would not want to do right now. >> again, you have to ask. there is a whole series of options here that we can put into play. it has to be a coordinated
effort. this isn't just about mali. the french are very capable. they have very capable special forces. they are going to put some hurt on these folks. there are things we can do short of boots on the ground. this is going to get worse. you cannot allow this to become a national security issue for the united states. i argue it has crossed that threshold. they are really good at this stuff, including the hostage taking. this is a problem we have to deal with. we all ought to sit down and try to come to a concensus here. short of boots on the ground, what all options we have available and we have plenty and how we quickly implement them to hasten french victory and put pressure on them or we, the
united states, are going to suffer the consequences. >> thank you very much. appreciate your time. still to many could, the nra releasing a controversial new gun ad. did it cross the line or not? the psychiatrist of the aurora theater shooter sued by the family of one of the victims. the doctor knew the gunman was dangerous and failed to protect the public.
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the nra gets personal. the group is out with an explosive new ad that targets the president's gun control proposals and his family. >> are the president's kids more important than yours? then, why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? >> was that out of line. i want to bring in our contributors. jay carney issued a statement saying most americans agree that the president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight but to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly. i must say the word repugnant is not used often enough. i kind of love t i love saying repugnant. is going after the president's kids in this way an absolute line you don't cross? >> i think it is completely crazy and counterproductive but it makes sense according to a different strategy.
something like 47% of u.s. households report they own a gun. the nra is very concerned about rival gun right organizations. in a sense, the nra represents a minority of gun owners in the united states. they are concerned about being outflanked in terms of the strength with which they defend gun rights. so the truth is that there are a ton of gun owners whose views are not being adequately represented. when the nra goes off and has an ad of that nature, they are not necessarily representing real gun owners but representing a much smaller group. they are concerned about being seen as too moderate. >> david keen defended the ad earlier. i want to play his defense
before you jump in here. here he is. >> the fact of the matter is that the schools in washington that are attended by the elites, not just president's daughters but the sons and daughters of others are protected by armed security. not the secret service. >> is the white house taking this too personally or overreacting? >> i have met david keen and his wife. the ad is pathetic. the nra are a bunch of punks for running the ad. if they stand behind it, why are they removing it from their website. they are getting what they wanted. they put a youtube add up. we're talking about it. it gets out there. it shows you how weak and cowardly they are when they chose to run away from it. there is no need to invoke the president's daughters in this conversation. i can guarantee you that had anybody invoked the daughters of president george w. bush in a similar ad, folks on the right
would be just as upset. >> what about the fact that politicians use kids when they want to politically all the time. remember can chelsea clip ton walking between her parents to the helicopter after the monta lewinsky affair. or this time when the white house released a picture of the president with his two daughters snuggling on the coach. they use their children for political purposes when they want to. >> walking to the helicopter, they are going on vacation. what are they supposed to do, take her to another helicopter? >> it was the hand holding and connecting them, roland. >> so what. if it was a photo and no hand holding, then it's okay. that is not the same as putting an add out where you are mentioning the president's daughters. it makes no sense. again, if you are the nra, you don't have to actually do that. you don't have to go that far.
you would have to go to chicago and say, how many armed guards are there in chicago schools where the president is from. to use the president's daughters makes no sense whatsoever. >> thanks to both of you. we appreciate it. next, the sigh terrorist sued over the aurora theater massacre. the widow of jonathan blunk is holding james holmes doctor accountable. it alleges dr. lynne fenton knew he was dangerous and fails to protect the public. out front, forensic psychologist, robin landau and paul cowen. let's get to the details. the suit claims that about a month or a few weeks before the shooting holmes had told dr. fenton that he fantasized about killing mass numbers of people.
she told campus people but opted not to put 72-hour hold on him. it is unclear what it might have resulted in. that's what this case rests on. how strong is it? >> as tragic as the case is, with so many people killed, 12 dead, 58 wounded, tremendous sympathy here. a psychiatrist has to be aware of a specific threat against a specific person. then, there is somebody to warn. in this case, it sounds to me everything i've heard we have generalized threats of violence. that does not create liability. it is going to be a troublesome case for the victims. >> as someone in that business, did she do the right thing? it is so hard to tell. are there a lot of people threatening these kind of things or is it a rare thing?
>> the word threatening is an important word. when he was talking about fantasies, eye deation, was he speaking about specific acts? did he say i have guns in my home and i am thinking about them? the use of fantasy and eye deation does not necessarily mean that anything is going to happen. in terms of what she did exactly what she was told is important to know, what is in her notes. >> so the new gun control law that just passed in new york, i'm curious on your take. it requires health care providers to report their patients to the state should they exhibit behavior suggesting they could be harmful to themselves and others. it sounds to me this is much broader. this isn't me making a specific threat against ball. this is me just threatening in general. am i right and how does that change this? >> although they are broadening the laws here, the truth is in new york state, mental health practitioners, always had to report it.
it already exists. i think it is being stressed here in light of what's happened. i think that when people are in voluntary treatment, that the court has man dated it, they are going to be followed up more and in touch more with the mental health professional working with that person. >> that doesn't sound like a big change. >> it is not a big change at all. all this law did was in new york, you have these people on the street who weren't out there. people know they have mental health problems. this law, kendra's law who has been violent in the past. out of the hospital, living on the street and obviously needs help. this law allows psychiatrists to force them back into hospitals and get outpatient treatment. it doesn't really affect the gun situation at all. >> thanks to both of you america's biggest bank has its biggest year ever. why did the ceo get stiffed by
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